Brief history of Botswana summarized
A brief tour of the history of Botswana summarized.
Botswana’s earliest inhabitants were Stone Age hunter-gatherers. Some hunters continued their simple way of life into the 20th century. However, in the years before the birth of Christ, some converted to a pastoral way of life. Then after 500 AD the Bantu migrated to Botswana. They were dedicated to livestock and brought iron tools and weapons.
After AD 1000 the herdsmen formed organized kingdoms. Then, in the 13th century, a powerful chiefdom arose with its capital on the Mapungubwe hill. However, they were overshadowed by Great Zimbabwe, which took over many chiefdoms in eastern Botswana.
In the early 19th century, Botswana was engulfed in a series of wars known as the Difaqane. As a result, there were large migrations of refugees. However, in the 1840s the order was returned.
Beginning in the 1820s, Christian missionaries arrived in Botswana. Traders looking for ivory also spread the new religion. Then in 1841 David Livingstone went to Kuruman.
However, there was a new threat: the Boers.
The Boers were Dutch -speaking (Afrikaans) farmers from South Africa. In 1836 they traveled north to form the Transvaal. In 1884 the Germans took Namibia and the British feared they would join the Boers in the Transvaal.
To prevent them in 1885, the British declared Botswana a protectorate. It was called Bechuanaland. However, the British made very little attempt to develop Bechuanaland and left it largely alone.
In 1948 Seretse Khama, Prince of Bangwato, married an Englishwoman named Ruth Williams. South Africans opposed multiracial marriage. To appease the South Africans, the British invited Seretse to London and then forbade him to re-enter his own country. He did not return to Botswana until 1956 and was forced to relinquish his claim to the throne.
However, throughout Africa in the 1950s there was an unstoppable movement towards independence. In 1960 the Bechuanaland People’s Party was formed. In 1961 Bechuanaland got its own legislative council.
In 1962 Seretse Khama founded the Bechuanaland Democratic Party and in 1963 began work on building a capital in Gaborone. In 1965 Bechuanaland gained internal self-government. Finally, on September 30, 1966, the Republic of Botswana became independent.
In the late 20th century, Botswana’s economy grew rapidly. Diamonds were discovered in 1967 in Orapa. In 1977 the Letlhakane mine was opened and in 1982 the Jwaneng mine. Tourism is also a major industry in Botswana. Manufacturing is also growing in Botswana.
Today, Botswana is developing rapidly. It has a population of 2.2 million inhabitants.
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